I’m not sure how to make this point any clearer. So for the last time: Sugary beverages are poisonous. Stop drinking them!
And I’m not just talking about their role in the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Because that’s just the tip of the iceberg…
Unsurprisingly, sugary drinks also raise your risk of cancer. And the details of some new research should really drive home just how lethal this threat is.
Death by fruit juice
As part of this recent study, researchers reviewed data from over 100,000 people. And their calculations linked an increase in sugary drink consumption of a little over three ounces to an 18 percent increase in overall cancer risk. And a 22 percent increase in breast cancer risk, in particular.
This link was stronger among women with premenopausal breast cancer than women with postmenopausal breast cancer. But postmenopausal women drank fewer sugary beverages on the whole, so that finding isn’t really shocking.
On the other hand, the study found no association between sugary beverages and prostate and colorectal cancers—which is rather surprising. But there were fewer cases of these types of cancer in this particular cohort overall, so that really doesn’t say much.
Also, 100 percent fruit juice counted as a sugary beverage in this study (because it is!). And when researchers examined that link separately, the association between cancer risk and fruit juice consumption was even stronger.
Now, this was an observational study, so it has its limitations. (Like I’m always telling you, correlation doesn’t prove causation.) Still, there are a few things we know for sure.
Like the fact that sugary drinks pave the way to obesity. And that they increase visceral fat, blood sugar, and inflammatory markers… all of which are well known risk factors for cancer.
Two teaspoons is all it takes
Taken broadly, this study’s results ultimately demonstrated that high levels of sugary drink consumption resulted in a 30 percent overall increase in diagnosis of any type of cancer. Which is a pretty significant increase in risk.
To give you some perspective, those in the lowest intake group consumed around half a teaspoon of sugar from their daily drinks. Whereas those in the highest group consumed roughly four teaspoons of sugar daily.
The point at which risk started to increase was around 10 grams, or two teaspoons, of sugar per day. And I’m guessing I don’t have to point out how small of an amount that is—one that falls squarely within the current “healthy eating” guidelines.
So here’s what it tells me: When it comes to your health, even just a little bit of sugar can be lethal. So if you haven’t heeded my warnings that “sugar kills” before now, maybe this new research will convince you.
Observational or not, this study was well designed. And makes an even stronger case for a change in public health policies—which, as I explained earlier this week, may be the only way to stop this deadly runaway train of disease.
Imposing hefty taxes to discourage people from guzzling soda, along with strict marketing restrictions, would be a good start. And before you dismiss these suggestions as draconian, consider that we do the exact same thing with alcohol and tobacco.
As a society, we take every other cancer risk seriously:
- We discourage smoking and overdrinking
- We encourage exercise
- We slather ourselves with sunscreen like there’s no tomorrow
But ask someone to give up soda—or even worse, “healthy” fruit juice—and suddenly, you’re some kind of zealot.
I realize that “quitting” is hard. Even I have patients who still drink sugary beverages “on occasion.” But come on, folks… this truly is life or death.
P.S. Quitting sugar is just one of the many simple, science-based strategies to fortify your cellular defenses against cancer. In fact, I wrote my Essential Protocol to a Cancer-Free Future as a unique tool filled with dietary, supplement and lifestyle recommendations to stop cancer in its tracks. Click here to learn more about this innovative online learning tool, or to get started today!
“Cancer risk from sugary drinks?” Medscape Medical News, 07/11/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/915498)